Just tried that, as I have one of those old floor standing 2" x 14" reel
tape degaussers. That thing is a very old RCA unit powerful enough to
change the earth's magnetic poles. The CD won't play any more due to the
arcing inside the disk from the induced currents. Aluminum isn't
magnetic, but you sure can induce electric currents in it. 

I might as well have put it in the microwave. I tried it with another
CD, using a hand degausser I'd normally use on 1/4" and 1/2" tape. It
made a small audible difference.... caused no doubt by the increased
error rate that I now measure and that is now at the 'error masking'
level. Previously the error rate was well below that. I could be wrong,
after all, it wasn't any more a scientific study than some of those
other claims were. 


-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Bruce Kinch
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 9:19 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Ampex ATR-102 opinion (was MD5 Hash Generators

Don't know. Didn't say it improved a CD. Just said it changed the sound.
Try it yourself if you have an old tape degausser. If you hear a change
you like, why not do it? If you don't hear a change, or think it sounds
worse, you probably wouldn't make a habit of it.

For that matter, they have gizmos that are designed to de-gauss LPs, but
I haven't heard that demonstrated.

I once had a discussion about audio tweaks with a real skeptic. If was
15 minutes before I thought to ask him if the copper bracelet on his
wrist really helped his arthritis. He assured me it did. My wife is a
physician, and she disagrees. But of course, she doesn't have arthritis.


On Jan 22, 2008, at 6:21 PM, Scott Phillips wrote:

> WHAT on earth could degaussing have to do with improving a CD..?
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List 
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Bruce Kinch
> Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 6:30 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Ampex ATR-102 opinion (was MD5 Hash Generators
> Well, I split my college years between physics and psychology, so I 
> may be more open to the oddities of audio than many. It is often 
> easier to deny a phenomena than to explain it. Hell, we have 
> presidential candidates running on that very platform.
> De-gaussing involves a strong magnetic field, cleaning/polishing 
> removes production residue and optimizes the optical interface, 
> precise trimming at an angle insures centering and minimizes internal 
> reflections, which may reduce error correction. Physics, optics, 
> mechanics haven't been hokum for a while.
> If person A can hear effects person B can't, it's hardly something to 
> get one's knickers in a twist over. My dog hears things I can't. Fair 
> enough, that's why we let her ancestors into the cave. Actually, so 
> can my wife. Part of our courtship involved demonstrating that a good 
> stereo allowed her to hear the differences between analog and digital,

> between wires, components, speaker positions, etc. Once she decided I 
> was a just discriminating guy and not a lunatic after all, it became 
> much easier to justify the occasional upgrade.
> It is true that virtually all magazines exist to sell advertising. And

> like the man said 97% of just about everything is junk. Some people 
> would rather read Wine magazines than imbibe based on price and the 
> picture on the label.
> Bruce
> On Jan 22, 2008, at 4:10 PM, Tom Fine wrote:
>> More importantly, Bruce, I don't want to throw a big bucket of facts 
>> on the audiophillic fire here, but "de-gaussing, polishing, trimming,

>> etc" is HOOEY, JUNK "SCIENCE", P. T. BARNUMESQUE HOKUM!!! This is why

>> I can't take those "high end audio" magazines seriously -- they will 
>> sell advertising and write articles about this junk!
>> -- Tom Fine
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Andrew Hamilton"
>> <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 5:58 PM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Ampex ATR-102 opinion (was MD5 Hash 
>> Generators
>>> On 1/22/08 1:42 PM, "Bruce Kinch" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>> One problem with the "bits iz bits" argument is that all sorts of 
>>>> tweaks (not just better players/DACS) change (often subjectively
>>>> improving) the sound of CDs - de-gaussing, polishing, trimming,
>>>> One of the nice things a good DAC can do is demonstrate how a 
>>>> "bit-perfect" CD-R copy can sound better than the original CD, and 
>>>> that is truly weird.
>>> This is truly weird.  I thought that Dr. Dunn's/Prism Sound AES 
>>> paper
>>> on bit-identical CDs sounding different stated that the differences 
>>> all disappeared when using an external DAC.  It's the internal (to 
>>> the CD
>>> player) DAC which he surmised gets its quartz timing futz'd by the 
>>> servo arm's tracking fluctuations caused by a hard-to-read (less
>>> reflective) disc.
>>> So a slow burn on compatible media might make a better reference 
>>> disc
>>> than a fast burn on compatible media (which might make for fewer 
>>> errors but sound worse (on a CD player that is using its built-in
>>> DACs) and is, ironically, the better master disc!).
>>> _andrew